Passive Income Ideas for Students - Featured Image

The Best Passive Income Ideas for Students (Earn Money While Sleeping)

by Milos Djordjevic

With college costs being higher than ever, many students are trying to find ways to earn extra money. Today, we’re bringing you the best passive income ideas for students looking for extra money to make with little to no effort.

Our ideas will help you pay some of your studies expenses and even earn some additional pocket money for having fun, all without spending too much time working!

Passive Income for College Students

People define passive income differently. Some consider it as earnings that are not generated by active employment. Others believe it’s money people receive without putting in work, such as rents and investments.

No matter the definition, students everywhere are looking to find ways to generate passive income to help them pay for their studies. Here’s how you can do it!

1. What Are the Best Ways for College Students to Make Money?

Even though the costs of studying are rising, there are so many great ways for students to make money during their studies. Here are the most common ones.

Taking Surveys and Watching Videos for Money

Many students nowadays opt for gigs that won’t take up too much of their time and would allow them to organize their days however they want. That is why joining a survey-taking or video-watching platform is a smart idea. You’ll have full control over your working hours, so they won’t affect your studies as much.

The main downside to this way of increasing a college students’ income is the amount of money you’ll receive. You likely won’t earn enough to sustain yourself, but it could be an excellent way to earn pocket money, especially if you have other jobs as well.

The most popular platforms that allow you to earn cash for taking surveys are LifePoints, Swagbucks, and Survey Junkie. Furthermore, those who want to make some money watching videos should check out InboxDollars and MyPoints.

Becoming a Social Media Manager

Social media management is another common source of income for students. Almost every young person today knows how social media operates and how to grow a larger following on any platform.

Many business owners don’t consider themselves social media experts, which is why they tend to hire young people to increase their engagement on the most popular platforms. While many companies prefer people with some experience, others would be happy with a beginner who’ll increase their social media presence for a smaller fee.

Your job as a social media manager would be to create and implement a social media marketing strategy for a business. While generating a passive income as a college student might be an easier thing to do, working actively will help you improve your skills and advance in the job market.

You can find so many great ideas on how to manage social media online, and even free courses on the subject to help you start out. Your pay will also increase as you become more experienced.


If there’s a subject you’re especially good at, you can offer to tutor your classmates on it. You could print small ads and ask someone at the library and the local coffee shop to post them, or advertise your tutoring via social media or word-of-mouth.

Alternatively, you can join an online tutoring platform to find students who need some help with courses you’re good at. Chegg is a good platform to try out.

If you’re not certain that your knowledge is on the college level, you can always opt for tutoring high school students. It’s among the most useful passive income ideas for college students, and the job won’t take up that much of your time.

Freelance Writing

If you’re a Journalism or English major—or you just love writing—you might want to explore side hustles such as freelance content writing and journalism. There are many great publications out there offering freelance gigs to people who want to write on various topics.

You can explore your options based on your interests, or join a general writing platform where you can write about different topics and earn good money while building your writing portfolio.

Becoming a Freelance Graphic Designer

This one is great for those who already have some graphic design experience. In that case, it won’t take long before you can start earning money for your work.

It’s a smart way to generate income for college students, as you’ll have full control over the amount of time spent working. You can visit freelance websites such as Fiverr to find freelance gigs and build your portfolio.

Becoming a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants can be responsible for lots of things. They can work on simple data entry or spend time building a social media presence for the company.

You could create a list of tasks you know how to perform and offer them on popular virtual assistant platforms. Some of the sites you can use for that are Virtual Assistant Network and Zirtual.

Passive Income Ideas for Students - The best ways to make money

2. How to Make Passive Income as a College Student

Making investments is one of the most popular ways you can make a passive income. If you understand how cryptocurrencies or stocks work, you can earn a lot of money by simply moving around your investments at the perfect time.

College students with properties can always switch to campus living and rent their apartments. In addition, many students occasionally house sit or pet sit for a small fee. Selling items or books you don’t need anymore online is another great way to earn some extra cash.

3. What Are the Most Common Sources of Income for Students?

Grants and scholarships are among the most common sources of income for students. Many different organizations and universities offer helpful scholarships to students in need or to those with special skills.

Some would aid you in paying for your studies, while others will provide you with extra money to spend while studying, with 25% of students working more hours to pay for books and materials. Research grants are usually given to more advanced students to help them in their research efforts.

Employment income is another common source of earnings for students. Many students also make investments and receive money from them during their studies.

How to Make Passive Income in College: Conclusion

The average salary of a college student sits at $36,777 per year. Students around the country find many ways to utilize their talents and earn money for school and side activities.

We hope our list gave you some great ideas on options to try out for some extra income. In addition, those with some savings can explore passive ways of generating income. They won’t take up much of your time, and would allow you to focus on your studies.